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Friday, January 22, 2010

WEEI: Bradford: What happened with Jason Bay and the Red Sox

Longer than…a night in sick Bay.

The team wanted to replace the guaranteed four-year contract offer with a two-year deal – at the same rate of $15 million per season– that included third and fourth years that would be contingent on Bay’s health and productivity. The contract offer also included a requirement that Bay would have to undergo surgery on his knee immediately after the 2009 regular season.

“I was shocked to say the least that I was being told to have knee surgery in order to get the contract,” Bay said, “particularly since I wasn’t hurt.”

After digesting the initial shock of that turn of events, Bay and Urbon arranged in late August for an independent orthopedic surgeon to examine the MRIs on both the knees and the shoulder.

“I felt great, so I didn’t believe that there was anything wrong,” he said. “I felt extremely confident that if I had another doctor look at my films, the diagnosis would be different.”

As Bay predicted, the physician came to the conclusion that there was simply no cause for concern.

Repoz Posted: January 22, 2010 at 04:37 AM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: business, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

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Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. My Grate Friend, Peason Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:04 AM (#3443795)
Still talking about Bay, huh?
   2. SteveF Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:10 AM (#3443797)
His MRI might be clean now, but wait until he puts on a Mets uniform. Pretty sure his knee cartilage is on borrowed time.
   3. danielj Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:21 AM (#3443804)
The Mets will also swap Bay's liver with Boris Yeltsin's.
   4. akrasian Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:37 AM (#3443810)
So the doctor paid by the team said that his knees weren't THAT bad, while the Doctors paid by Bay said that his knees were fine. Can we get a doctor without any bias to report?
   5. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:51 AM (#3443816)
It's midwinter, and feelings like this are to be expected, to a point. But one of my friends, a big Sox fan, told me that with Bay's absence and Lowell's expected reduced role, she just doesn't have enough personalities on that team to root for. While it was surprising to hear that from her, I expect that by midseason she's way interested in whether Ortiz can still hit and worried about what they might do in the Beckett negotiations.
   6. Russlan thinks deGrom is da bomb Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:55 AM (#3443817)
But one of my friends, a big Sox fan, told me that with Bay's absence and Lowell's expected reduced role, she just doesn't have enough personalities on that team to root for.

Bay has a personality?
   7. alskor Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:58 AM (#3443818)
A few things struck me:

1) Why was Bay so worried about the team putting in a clause protecting them if his pre-existing knee issues became a problem? Seems that if he werent concerned about his knees he would have just agreed to that. It was going to be tied specifically to the pre-existing condition, much like JD Drew's shoulder problem. So, its not like ANY knee injury would have triggered it.

2) Bay has had lots of knee problems in the past and this article completely fails to mention all the trouble he had in Pittsburgh. He was a plus defender before that and since then has been pretty terrible.

3) While doctors might well say that a player's knees are fine to play baseball, the Red Sox may have been looking at the probabilities of his knees making his defense so bad he can't do anything but DH. They very well could have looked at his knees and said "Well, these knees are pretty bad... he will probably have to DH in 2 years" - but that doesnt mean he would fail a physical. His knees don't have to be so bad he can't play baseball for them to be unsatisfactory to the Red Sox.

4) If there weren't something more going on with the knees here and the other doctors came to those conclusions we probably would have seen a greivance or lawsuit. Instead, the agent quietly moved on (ok, one outburst that didn't mention the knees at all) and THEN released the "real story" months later. Pretty fishy. The sort of thing someone might do if their client actually DID have bad knees.
   8. rlc Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:58 AM (#3443819)
Bay has a personality?

The team's psychologist says probably not. Bay and his agent are seeking a second opinion.
   9. Tripon Posted: January 22, 2010 at 05:58 AM (#3443820)
Bay's Canadian. So, I'm assuming TVerik means how secretly evil they are.
   10. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 22, 2010 at 06:04 AM (#3443822)
1) Why was Bay so worried about the team putting in a clause protecting them if his pre-existing knee issues became a problem? Seems that if he werent concerned about his knees he would have just agreed to that. It was going to be tied specifically to the pre-existing condition, much like JD Drew's shoulder problem. So, its not like ANY knee injury would have triggered it.


Because apparently without too much trouble, he was able to get a contract that ensures the financial security of his family beyond a reasonable doubt without that clause. If you had a history of, but not a specific occurrence of, problems with one part of your body, I'd expect nothing less. I think I'd rather play for a team (money being roughly equal) that actually guarantees my money if there's an injury to any part of my body.

Also, about the last point in this statement, I think that any doctor worth his salt and interested in keeping the Sox from paying big bucks would make some sort of case that a random career-ending knee injury would never have happened to someone without Bay's history of knee issues.
   11. SY Ruined School Lunches! Posted: January 22, 2010 at 06:20 AM (#3443830)
Wait, someone was actually interested in Mike Lowell and Jason Bay's personalities? Is JD Drew's Charisma not enough to hold them over?
   12. TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky" Posted: January 22, 2010 at 06:45 AM (#3443841)
Not to pick on alskor too much, but Why was Bay so worried about the team putting in a clause protecting them if his pre-existing knee issues became a problem? is a lot like "If you have nothing to hide, why not let Dick Cheney waterboard you?"
   13. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 22, 2010 at 07:18 AM (#3443845)
Why was Bay so worried about the team putting in a clause protecting them if his pre-existing knee issues became a problem? is a lot like "If you have nothing to hide, why not let Dick Cheney waterboard you?"


While I agree with you on the larger issue, I don't think it's really anything like that.

On an unrelated note, it's amazing the way the Red Sox FO plants these stories with a pliant Boston press bashing every outgoing ballplayer.
   14. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: January 22, 2010 at 07:30 AM (#3443847)
So the doctor paid by the team said that his knees weren't THAT bad, while the Doctors paid by Bay said that his knees were fine. Can we get a doctor without any bias to report?


Who will pay for that?
   15. tjm1 Posted: January 22, 2010 at 08:25 AM (#3443859)
Wait, someone was actually interested in Mike Lowell and Jason Bay's personalities? Is JD Drew's Charisma not enough to hold them over?


In all seriousness, they both give multi-syllabic answers in interviews, and are extremely polite and humble. They're admirable people in terms of the way they conduct themselves, which is something that will make a lot of fans root for them.
   16. OCD SS Posted: January 22, 2010 at 12:34 PM (#3443875)
The Mets will also swap Bay's liver with Boris Yeltsin's.


In Soviet Russia, Borris Yeltsin's liver comes for you in the dead of night.
   17. depletion Posted: January 22, 2010 at 01:35 PM (#3443907)
They saved Yeltsin's Liver.
   18. The Pequod Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:19 PM (#3443947)
"On an unrelated note, it's amazing the way the Red Sox FO plants these stories with a pliant Boston press bashing every outgoing ballplayer."

I'm glad we're finding out that maybe Jason Bay isn't so greedy and nutty after all, even if it is coming after a few months of "tsk, tsk"-ing and schadenfreude from Gammons, etc.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:26 PM (#3443959)
I'm glad we're finding out that maybe Jason Bay isn't so greedy and nutty after all, even if it is coming after a few months of "tsk, tsk"-ing and schadenfreude from Gammons, etc.

Yeah, what is the pathology with the Boston management/ownership and departing players. Do any other teams behave this way?
   20. tfbg9 Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:30 PM (#3443965)
#7 seems to jibe with common sense to me.
   21. tfbg9 Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:37 PM (#3443977)
Yeah, what is the pathology with the Boston management/ownership and departing players. Do any other teams behave this way?


Isn't it Bay who is the one doing the wronged-lover act here, not Larry the Lobster?
   22. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:41 PM (#3443980)
Isn't it Bay who is the one doing the wronged-lover act here, not Larry the Lobster?

I haven't followed the story closely, but isn't this a response to some Red Sox leak about the in-season extension negotiations?
   23. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:46 PM (#3443989)
How ethical is it to release private medical information about one of your former employees to the press, without his permission?
   24. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:47 PM (#3443995)
How ethical is it to release private medical information about one of your former employees to the press, without his permission?

Illegal I think, as well as unethical.
   25. tfbg9 Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:53 PM (#3444001)
22- Sort of. He it turns out, semi-failed the Sox physical, and that's why he's a Met. If this happned in, say,
Houston, would we never have known any of these details? I doubt that. I dunno really.

Its as much a pathology of the Boston writers, I think. People ask, myself included--why the hell would he rather be a Met,
that organization's a disaster?
So the writers find out. Turns out there's a rational explanation why he's a Met.
The Brass thought his knees looked balky. He's 31.
   26. villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:54 PM (#3444002)
On an unrelated note, it's amazing the way the Red Sox FO plants these stories with a pliant Boston press bashing every outgoing ballplayer.
Yeah. The Boston FO is so brilliant, this time they planted the story with Jason Bay himself.

Bay implied in his Mets press conference that Boston didn't want him (or at least didn't want him enough). The Gammons article puts that into context: Bay and the team agreed on a deal, but the team backed out due to medical concerns. So, in a way, the Gammons piece agrees with Bay in that Boston didn't want Bay more than the Mets did; but it makes it a little more clear that both sides wanted each other enough for a contract to reach that stage. I don't see how that's bashing Bay. (Gammons' editorializing is another thing, but he's become a lot more cranky in the last couple of years.)

The article for this thread, though coming from Boston media, is sourced directly from Bay, and he's going to great lengths to explain every detail - except for his own medical history prior to Boston, of course. I think both sides could have taken the high road, but it's not clear the Red Sox are trying to make anyone look bad in this case. It seems to me like Bay is expending a lot more energy to make the Red Sox look bad.

I suppose when the Mets and Red Sox have differing opinions on a player's health, the Mets side might need a more vigorous defense. So there's that.
   27. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:57 PM (#3444007)
Yeah. The Boston FO is so brilliant, this time they planted the story with Jason Bay himself.


I knew you'd catch that vi.
   28. villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2010 at 02:58 PM (#3444010)
How ethical is it to release private medical information about one of your former employees to the press, without his permission?
Let the team that has never released private medical information about a player cast the first stone.
   29. villageidiom Posted: January 22, 2010 at 03:00 PM (#3444012)
I knew you'd catch that vi.
Impressive that you got people to agree with your sarcasm. I could never pull that off.

EDIT: On that note, let me drag out my old Mad Libs on the Red Sox FO again:

Clearly Jason Bay is acting here as a media mouthpiece for the Red Sox front office. Take this as a sign that the Red Sox are trying to unload the Red Sox, and are looking to tear down public opinion of the Red Sox so they'll look good when they drop themselves.
   30. Jose is an Absurd Force of Nature Posted: January 22, 2010 at 03:06 PM (#3444018)
I have always operated under the assumption that the CBA allows this sort of information to get released. Given how tightly controlled medical records are it seems that there would be no way for the amount of information that gets released to be released without some sort of pre-existing agreement.

Just by way of example as my company's HR administrator I have looked into self-funded insurance a few times but I cannot even get a gross amount of money spent by Blue Cross on my company last year but very detailed information about conditions and surgeries for professional athletes are readily available.
   31. Paxton Crawford Ranch Posted: January 22, 2010 at 08:21 PM (#3444479)
If the Sox really wanted to screw Bay, they would have leaked their real two year offer, and the health reasons behind it, when the negotiations were actually happening. Instead they let the world believe they had offered a "true" 4/60 and helped keep Bay's perceived value high.
   32. Darnell McDonald had a farm Posted: January 22, 2010 at 09:21 PM (#3444548)
Team GM has a MOLE-AY MOLE-AY MOLE-AY MOLE-AY

MOLE BLOODY MOLE, we're not supposed to talk about the bloody mole but there's the bloody mole winking me in the face

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